The Long Beach State women’s volleyball team was unable to spoil Hawaii’s senior and Big West Conference winning aspirations, as the Rainbow Wahine swept the Beach in three sets, 25-18, 25-12, 25-20 on Friday at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The Beach (12-16, 9-7 Big West) was led by sophomore outside hitter Kashauna Williams, who had 10 kills while senior middle blocker YiZhi Xue had seven. Sophomore setter Carly Aigner-Swesey had 28 assists and 10 digs and senior libero Hailey Harward also had 10 digs.
Hawaii (24-3, 14-2 Big West) was led by redshirt junior libero Brooke Van Sickle and senior outside hitter McKenna Ross, who each had nine kills. Junior setter Norene Iosia had 20 assists, seven service aces, five kills and five digs as the Rainbow Wahine won the Big West Conference title outright.
Long Beach led in the early stages of the first set, but Hawaii took over after an ace from Iosia, forcing a time out from the Beach. Long Beach got no closer than two points as the Rainbow Wahine took set one 25-18.
The second set was forgettable for the Beach, as Hawaii took set two 25-12. Iosia’s serves caused problems for Long Beach, as she registered five aces in that set for the Rainbow Wahine, who held the Beach to a hitting percentage of .038.
Hawaii never trailed in the third set, but Long Beach didn’t make it easy for the host team. The Rainbow Wahine led 9-7 when a kill by Iosia was challenged by Long Beach head coach Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer.
To her dismay, and despite the instant replay showing the ball being hit out without a touch by the Beach, the call was ruled that the ball was hit in-bounds, and the Rainbow Wahine were awarded the point. Eventually, the Beach found themselves down 22-15, the largest deficit in the set so far.
Long Beach then rattled off three straight points to make the score 22-18, forcing a time out from Hawaii. The Beach were unable to get any closer, as the Rainbow Wahine eventually closed out the match with a kill from freshman middle blocker Amber Igiede, giving them set three 25-20 and the match.
Long Beach ends the season 12-16 overall and 9-7 in the Big West Conference.